119 votes
Black Earth Rising

Black Earth Rising

BBC Two 2018

The story centers on Kate Ashby, who works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis. When Kate's adoptive mother Eve takes on a case prosecuting an African militia leader, the story pulls Michael and Kate into a journey that will upend their lives forever.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Black Earth Rising

Black Earth Rising - S1E2

#1 - Looking at the Past


Season 1 - Episode 2

Eve's case prosecuting Simon Nyamoya begins at the International Criminal Court, but a shocking incident changes everything. To try and uncover the truth behind these events, Michael Ennis launches a new case and turns to Kate for help. They will be defending Alice Munezero, a Rwandan government official and an old friend of Michael and Eve's. Alice stands accused of a historic war crime - the murder of a French priest in Rwanda in 1994.

The episode was rated from 118 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E3

#2 - A Ghost in Name


Season 1 - Episode 3

Still struggling with grief, Kate works with Michael to defend Alice Munezero from the charges laid against her in France. As shadowy forces try to prevent the truth being unearthed, Kate faces threats to her personal safety. Meanwhile Michael struggles with his health back in London. Can they both continue forward to gain an acquittal for Alice?

The episode was rated from 91 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E1

#3 - In Other News


Season 1 - Episode 1

As a child, Kate Ashby was rescued from the horrific aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. She was adopted and brought up in Britain by Eve Ashby, a world-class international lawyer. Kate has long struggled to escape the shadow of her past, but is now returning to work as a legal investigator in the same chambers as Eve, under leading international lawyer Michael Ennis. Kate and Eve's relationship is strained to breaking point when a controversial militia leader, who had once fought to stop the genocide, is captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eve takes on his prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

The episode was rated from 155 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E8

#4 - The Forgiving Earth


Season 1 - Episode 8

While Michael works to expose an intricate conspiracy in London, Kate travels alone to Africa seeking the truth about her personal history.

The episode was rated from 67 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E7

#5 - Double Bogey on the Ninth


Season 1 - Episode 7

Kate and Florence return to the UK to locate a final missing item from Eve Ashby's case file against Patrice Ganimana. But someone is ahead of them, stopping at nothing to kill and terrorise his way to this key piece of missing evidence. Meanwhile Michael in the UK, Alice Munezero in Rwanda, and Eunice Clayton in the US, all believe the time has finally come to reveal the truth about a long-buried crime - which will in turn expose Kate to a dark, shocking truth about her own past, and which may destroy her relationship with Michael forever.

The episode was rated from 68 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E5

#6 - The Eyes of the Devil


Season 1 - Episode 5

Blake Gaines, who has been handling Patrice Ganimana's defence, seems to be in danger of falling foul of those paying his legal fees, while Alice Munezero tells Michael for the first time of her connection to Rwanda president Bibi Mundanzi. Kate's rift with Michael deepens and she becomes increasingly driven to help the Rwandan government as it tries to extradite Ganimana to face justice.

The episode was rated from 74 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E6

#7 - The Game's True Nature


Season 1 - Episode 6

Patrice Ganimana's warnings about Kate's safety are borne out when Kate and Alice are both attacked. But Kate, nevertheless, continues her search for the case file her mother had prepared against Ganimana years before. But are establishment forces somehow closing ranks to impede bringing Ganimana to justice?

The episode was rated from 73 votes.

Black Earth Rising - S1E4

#8 - A Bowl of Cornflakes


Season 1 - Episode 4

Kate and Michael finish their work on Alice's case in France but are shocked when an indicted Rwandan and Congolese war criminal, Patrice Ganimana, implicated in the Genocide, arrives in the UK. Excited by the chance to prosecute him, Michael is unsettled to learn that an old rival is handling his defence. Meanwhile this new arrival prompts Alice Munezero to delay her own return to Rwanda. As difficulties multiply for an extradition of Ganimana to the International Criminal Court, Kate and Michael's relationship begins to fray.

The episode was rated from 87 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020



BER is a good show for its content, even if the storyline is a bit difficult to follow. There isn't enough content on Africa within the West's vision and this show offers a glimpse into an event that most people never knew much about. While other films like Hotel Rwanda are excellent, this show offers up important glimpses into the colonial attitudes that many Europeans hold towards Africa. Michaela Cole is overall good throughout, but her responses to racism/colonial attitudes are excellent in their own right.


Unfortunately somewhere in episode three or four I completely lost the thread of all the characters, their relationships, past and present events, motivations, secrets and lies..


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